New York Takes Measures to Protect Employees' Privacy

New York Takes Measures to Protect Employees' Privacy

November 8, 2023

Governor Hochul signed a bill that adds Section 201-i to the Labor Law and prohibits employers from requesting or requiring username, login information and passwords, or personal accounts as a condition of hiring, a condition of employment, or for use in a disciplinary action.

Senate Bill S2518A,  which takes effect March 12, 2024, prohibits an employer from requesting that an employee or applicant disclose any means for accessing an electronic personal account including their username and password.

The law also prohibits employers from requesting employees and job applicants to access their personal account in the employer’s presence or reproduce photos, videos, or other information contained in their personal account through means prohibited under the law.

The new law only protects employees’ personal accounts. An employer may still request access to any accounts the employee uses on behalf of the business, providing the employee was given notice of the employer's right to request such information.

Employers are allowed to access an electronic communications device paid for, in whole or in part, by the employer and when payment for the device was conditioned on the employer retaining the right to access the device. In such situations, it is incumbent on the employer to provide the employee with advance notice to the employee.

The labor and employment practice group at Gross Shuman helps employers of all sizes across a range of industries develop business-oriented solutions to manage and support their most valuable asset – their employees. For more information about how our team may help yours, visit

Kevin Burke counsels employers on recent developments in employment law, and the implementation of policies and procedures which enable employers to be in compliance with federal and state laws. He can be reached at 716-854-4300 ext. 292 or [email protected]